Scott Hildreth, Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Southeastern Seminary, examines the primary ways Christians can approach culture and how employing it as a gospel pathway unleashes its power. Hildreth sums it up best when he writes,
“Culture matters as we seek to understand the gospel. The crises and questions of a culture allow us to flesh out our faith. But culture also matters as we seek to communicate the gospel. Each culture has deep longings and ideals, and they find their answer in the gospel. Culture is not merely a product of power or of entertainment; it is the very soil wherein the gospel grows and produces fruit that glorifies our God.”
At 127 Worldwide, culture matters tremendously because our nonprofit connects American believers with Christians from other nations to care for the vulnerable together. Differing worldviews, conflicting cultural impulses, and language barriers are all part of that collaboration, but we are united by a common faith that drives us to serve one another well. Understanding the influence and importance of culture lays the groundwork for our relationships as we spur one another on in love and good deeds.
- Think about a time you encountered a culture that felt foreign to you. What about it made it feel so different from your own? What underlying values were informing that culture? How might you present the gospel to someone from the culture?
- What are some Scripture passages that are common in your cultural sayings or most likely to be referenced? What passages are more likely to be overlooked or ignored?